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[ecrea] cfp - Rethinking cultural journalism and cultural critique in digital media culture

Mon Aug 27 12:12:20 GMT 2018

*Call for Papers*


*Rethinking cultural journalism and cultural critique in digital media culture*

International conference, November 22-23 2018, University of Copenhagen/Denmark

*Keynote speakers*

  * Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Cardiff University: /Emotionality
    and subjectivity in cultural criticism/
  * Professor Susanne Janssen, Erasmus University Rotterdam: /Long-term
    Trends in Cultural Journalism and Cultural Journalism Research in
    Cross-national Perspective/.

This conference engages with how journalistic authority and critical expertise within the cultural field is being reconfigured /in/ the digital media landscape and /by means of/ digital media, as the boundaries of ‘cultural journalism’ and ‘cultural critique’, and who may be labeled a ‘cultural journalist’ or a ‘cultural critic’ blur. More specifically, the conference addresses the shifting relations between specialists / generalists, producers / users, public / private, objectivity / subjectivity, emotionality / rationality in cultural journalism and cultural critique in the digital age.

Media institutional and technological developments have during the past decades enabled advanced public participation in debates about arts and culture. But they have also challenged established notions of cultural authority, enlightenment and expertise and de-stabilized the position of traditional critical institutions, such as academia and the news media, in the cultural information and valorization circuit.

This has led to popular proclamations such as “Everyone’s a critic”, book titles such as “What happened to arts criticism?” (Elkins 2003) and “The Death of the Critic” (McDondald 2007), and headlines pointing to the cutting down on art reviews and the dying art of criticism in the news industry (e.g., The Guardian 2017, The New Yorker 2017)

A more optimistic approach to these transformations would be that cultural journalism and cultural critique today take up many different stylistic formats and comprise many different voices. The increasing heterogeneity of cultural arbiters of taste includes cultural consumers, bloggers, celebrities, cultural journalists, media professionals, pundits, academics and intellectuals, who perform and (re)negotiate culture critical authority and expertise in different ways. They mix various types of emotional, experience-based or subjective reactions to culture, performed bottom-up, with aesthetics knowledge and expertise about arts and culture – and their presence in the culture critical circuit calls for new types of research questions and approaches to the study of cultural journalism and cultural critique.

Therefore, this conference welcomes papers on (but not limited to) question such as:

  * How can we conceptualize ‘cultural journalism’, ‘cultural critique’
    and/or ‘the cultural journalist’/‘the cultural critic’ in
    contemporary media culture?
  * How can we understand changing notions of authority and expertise in
    the cultural information circuit?
  * How do newer digital media platforms (e.g., blogs/vlogs, Facebook,
    Twitter, Instagram) influence, reproduce, challenge and transform
    cultural critique and its established genre conventions?
  * What are the constituting genres of cultural journalism and cultural
    critique in the digital media landscape?
  * What is the role of institutionalized news media, cultural
    journalism and cultural reviews in the mediation and valorization of
    culture today?
  * What is the role and/or interplay of various types of (digital)
    media in producing and reproducing cultural journalists and critics?
  * How does the increasing heterogeneity of cultural arbiters of taste
    in the digital media landscape influence and transform the
    production, form and content of cultural critique?
  * Who are these heterogeneous critical voices and what characterizes
    their authority and expertise /as/ critical voices?
  * What is the role of personality, emotionality and/or subjectivity in
    their critical work?
  * How are cultural journalism and cultural critique positioned within
    the journalistic/editorial hierarchy of the news industry?
  * Which media historical and -structural changes have occasioned the
    contemporary heterogeneity of cultural critics in the media?
  * How do media systemic and/or, national/cross-national cultural
    contexts influence the performances and/or transformation of
    cultural journalism and cultural critique?


*Conference dates and location*

Dates: November 22-23 2018

Location: Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Southern Campus



Submission of abstracts (300-500 words and 100-word bio): Monday 10 September 2018

Notification about acceptance/rejection: Monday 17 September 2018

Registration deadline: Monday October 1 2018

Abstracts and registration should be sent to: Nete Nørgaard Kristensen ((netenk /at/



There is no conference fee but participants must themselves arrange travel/accommodation and cover these expenses.


*About the keynote speakers*

/Karin Wahl-Jorgensen/, Professor of Journalism and Director of Research Development and Environment at School of Journalism, Media and Culture, University of Cardiff. She has published extensively about citizenship, democracy and the media. Her current work focuses on the role of emotion in journalism and political life as well as digital citizenship and surveillance society.


/Susanne Janssen/, Professor of Sociology of Media and Culture and Chair of the Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has published extensively about the role of critics and other experts in the cultural field, and issues of cultural globalization. Her current research focuses on the consequences of increased diversity and digitalization for agents, institutions, structures, processes and practices in the fields of media, culture, education, and politics.

*Conference organizers*

The conference is organized by the research project “From Ivory Tower to Twitter: Rethinking the Cultural Critic in Contemporary Media Culture”, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2015-19). For more information:

Main organizers:

/Nete Nørgaard Kristensen/, Associate Professor, Dept. of Media, Cognition and Communication, Section for Film, Media and Communication, University of Copenhagen ((netenk /at/

/Unni From/, Associate Professor, School of Communication and Culture - Media Science, Aarhus University ((imvuf /at/

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